Sunday, December 31, 2006

fare well to 2006

hmm i would have to say -- it is the un-new-year's-iest-feeling new year's i have experienced in quite some time. let's see, last year i was in SF with neal, josh, lynn, jess, max. year before that was a club in echo parkay after darkey (....) Which was fun. Year before that was Adam L's place in Boston, then Joe's later that night. Before that, I am not too sure...moreover, no one cares.

And now, here I am, sitting in front of the PC, another full day of work behind me "makin' buildings, makin' buildings..." May came home and we both passed out HARD on the couch. I am planning to head out (as she's still passed out) and wondering whether i will take a cab or car (cab sounds good).

I look around my apartment and wonder if this will be my final new year's eve living in Los Angeles. Perhaps I should rock it out a bit more.

Happy new year, from the bee's knees...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

cry for lust

ok so i have written some entires but then never finished them and scrapped 'em? WTF is up with that???

I am beat. I have been working steadily. My PC is a little underpowered and at times that becomes an issue, and so my work takes a little longer than it might. It's not to bad though. Also the new software I am using, it is a little... persnickety.that's right, always someone else's fault! Anyway ihave been rockin' steady since i got up yesterday (2ish?) and it's nearly 11am now. i gotta get me alittle shuteye I reckon. It just feels good to sed the stuff thru to compile and though it comes out rather ugly, it's not crashing anymore...

the last few weeks have felt thusly. Just a lot of straight workin', sitting here in my cell, in the cold, beside te closed window. Eatin gthe same 3 things, drinking lotsa coke, getting no exercise, not sure where the end is. A few thoughts lighting up the back of my head, at the same time both upsetting and exciting. An end is coming, an end to something but not sure what.

I guess I've not really updated this thing properly thru xmas, which was about a week ago - it was alright, i took a breather for a couple of days, caught up with some friends. Lost my momentum in some ways, unfortuantely, but that cannot be avoided sometimes. Eh, either way.

Still waiting to get paid. Lots of tought of the future going through my noggin. grandiose plans and kinda more easy follow-through as an alternative - which am I gonna do? Well, let me say this, 2006 was a sucky year i have decided, overall. But at least it planted the seeds for some interesting times to come, i'll say that much.

Alright. Files're done uploadin. time to knock out for a few hrs. And whoever mysteriously keeps calling me at odd hours, STOP!!!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

write wrong

sometime it is a pain in the ass to have this thing. Yeah, I am talking about you...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry drugsmas

who knows.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

dreaming of lemon pine

that's teh job in NYC. I recently recall saying something to the tune of "if there was a half-decent job in New York, London, or Tokyo, then I'd jump on it in a second.."


time to put my money where my mouth is. Seriously, this stuff is aggravating. I really wish I had someone to honestly consult about this stuff, at least someone who's gone through the same thing as me. I can't really say I have a progenitor in that fashion. I mean, I bitch about LA but this place is my home, and there's a lot for me here. Queue the same laundry list of reasons I always kick into at this point. the thing is, it gets scary when these things start to become a possible reality. It'slike killing yourself, I know I have said that before as well - you stop the entire momentum of your life, only to get born again as a different person in a different place. Based on your past experiences, sure, but time + place = difference. Yeah, I am worried. I am worried on both sides of the equation. Though I am certainly a 'go with the flow" ype of person, once in while you come across these crossroads whee you know that everything in your life hinges on this one very binary decision. It's not like last time when I had overwhelming reasons to git outta Dodge - no, the odds are pretty evenly stacked on both sides.

And so, once again, i resort to the not-too-distant memory of a conversation with my friend Jeff recently, he put into words something that really definies my entire philosophy - "it depends how interesting you want your life to be." Again, I know I have written that in here as well, by now. Perhaps once or twice. Me, I am not one who looks for signs in the cosmos, or some such - I believe that opportuinty is ever-present, it's up to you as an individual to chart your path, or blindly follow that spark that pushes your life along. Erratically or determinedly.

I went for a walk tonight after several hours of work. my life is comfortable, although it's a stressful time (no need to get into it again, eh?) and I step back and look at it all, every so often, and I won't say I feel "blessed," as such, but I have certainly clawed my way into a particularly enviable position, in my life - all things considered. I have worked hard and long, and I appreciate that as well as my talent, my determination to get here. No, it's not smooth sailing, it's not even fuckin' stable, but it would not be me if that were the case, and no matter how unsatisfied I claim to feel right now through it all, I can surely say that if it was all cut and dried I'd be about ready to through myself off the pier. anyway, point is, I appreciate what I am, what I've got, who I am with, who my friends are - and with all of that, the potential it's all charged with.

And then, the unknown. When I was young, not even THAT young, few things were more frightening to me than being in a liquid situation - out of sorts, disoriented, out of my element. Well, it's all relative, sure, but as I've got older i have learned that the most enjoyable things in this world come from figuring out those puzzles. Whereas most people want to go the absolute safe path A to B, I neeeeeed to see something else. Within reason, I suppose.. but it's the definition of my character at this point. Some call it crazy, I guess, but that's just a write-off. Nah. I want to get more out of life than what I've got by now, almost 32 years in, and it's been a lot. So then.. in light of this alll - what's that mean? what the hell should I do?

Just keep pushing on and seeing who has got it, and that's all there is to it. I'll be here, in my own head, either way - no matter where it is, and what it is turning me into...

egg wrecker.

damn. so, after midnight, i sit here slumped in my chair. my posture is less than picture-perfect, my ass is weakishly trying not to fart, my eyes feel like cold metal marbles. my fingers are tingly and trembly and a little raw from cutting the nails a little too-close.

i got some sleep last night, for the first time in days, honestly - it's been a lot of work to deal with, and i can't say for sure that it was necessarily all worth it, even though it always ends up feeling that way - so, no regrets. I sent in my art test (a day late, mind you) to naughty dog, but i doubt they'll even look at it before the new year. For what it's worth, i made an INCREDIBLY filthy barrel for them. Score. Beyond that, I have been cranking away on my freelance job.

Freelance is interesting, because it usually means that I can work from home. This is nice 'cause I can keep whatever insaniac hours I dig (and they usually are just that), likewise it means I've got no commute to speak of. The bad thing about it is that you lose that separation between WORK AND HOME. I'll tell yah though, it's super-nice to have a bedroom that's upstairs - I don't have the goddamned PC staring at me, humming away, just out of reach -but alwasy there. "Here is your life, come and take care of it." You know, I could be a prisoner and do this job, funny eh? In that regard, it was nice to walk up to the supermarket today and buy a couple of provisions (I sound like I'm fromthe 1930s, what gives?)

Anyway I am digging this freelance job, in spite of my whining. It's nice to do what I enjoy doing and being left to do it on my terms, even after all these years I still get a charge out of it (and yeah, getting a little bit of $ $ $ helps) On the job search front, no big news. A studio in NYC replied ot my application and wants to speak with me after the new year. I sent out a couple of other applications today, one's a big film FX house (they did Titanic) and the other's more broadcast-related, I believe (commercials and stuff). I usually get something out to maybe 4 or 5 studios a week, on the average. I am pretty optimistic that I'll land a job within a month's time.. We will see, I need to get some serious income booting back up over here, y'know?

Yesterday was rough, although strange. I was on Day 3 of being constantly awake (for work reasons), I probably got about an hour of sleep in there the last day. At one point my body literally disobeyed my brain's orders to go back to the desk and do more work, as I saw myself meandering over to the couch and lie down and shut my eyes - I protested but biology won out. Somehow, luck kicked in and a phone call snapped me out of it, and I was kickstarted to getting productive once again. The same thing happened later in the day (same phone caller too, haha). I DID not sound happy to be answering that phone, though I was thankful as there was shit to do. I managed to be in decent/productive shape the rest of the day, though I was definitely hallucinating at the end of the evening (past midnight) - that's when my brain finally got it's wish to turn off and go die for a spell.

I know I have wondered this before, but I am curious about the effects of sleeplessness. That was almost my longest consecutive period of staying awake (sunday afternoon till late-night tuesday), I am sure I could go longer if I needed to but honestly, I have never felt the urge to just go 'n do it - the thought interests me but I KNOW i'll be miserable, moreover I do have more important things to do with my time I guess. Still, the concept intrigues me (hopefully I'll never "need to find out")

End of 2006, I guess I need to write my yearly recap of events shortly. I got a few days, yet. Meantime, there's work to do.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


cybersleepy - MON DEC 19

dig a ding dang d-d-d-damn. man i am experiencing some serious deja vu right now, in a way. 2 years ago, i was doing the same damned thing (working night n day around the clock on an art test for a job I wanted). I got that job.. for awhile, anyway.. But yeah, that was two years ago, same exact time of the year. Different apartment though. Other weird shit going on in my life.

Tired. This art test was due today and it's now the evening. I couldn't turn it in unfinished though (what's the point?) They'll give me a day, i am hoping. If not, then that's how the cookies crumble.

I worked all night last night and likely to be another very late night tonight. Hopefully not two all-nighters in a row - I haven't done that in.. ummm... 5 years!! Yuck, that sucked, I'll tell ya.

okay back to work. Make barrels. Then houses. Then a bit of sleep, before I begin hallucinating, I hope.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

update on the state of personal affairs

i found my cellphone!!!! wooooooooOOOO!!!

"but.. but you said someone stole it! You were SURE!!"

Nah. nah. I just misplaced it.

"But.. you were SURE. You said it had to be someone else's fault!"

Nope. It was mine. I just misplaced it. Left it in my jacket pocket. For a WEEK.

"But.. but.. why go on blaming others when the fault is clearly your own? Isn't that a bit irresponsible?"

Hey, don't you have something better to do anyways? Like make me a sandwich or something? Take a shower? Layoff.

--Happy Holidays, from all of your friends at Chronic Schizophrenia!!--


P.S. Last night I dreamt that my father and I both accidentally discovered each other's pornography, but we were both too tired/stressed to care. Also, Florida was revealed as the original Capitol of the country, and continually referenced as no longer being of such status due to to their insistence that their state was "of intergalactic origin," the news of which I was reading in a local newspaper's sports section.

beware of giant crab!!! and fare well to lost architecture

oh alrighty, so Friday was "pay the bills day" (muttttter) and i filled out all the things that needed to be filled out and headed over to the post office. fed the meter, waited in line, played zaxxon on my gameboy advance whilei waited for the x-mas crowd to get their shit sent in line ahead of me. Among the things i was mailing was a money order for a speeding ticket incurred in Indiana recently, more money than would be required to buy an Xbox 360 or a Nintendo Wii (I love bringing up videogames for no reason at all, and it'll be a theme of this entry on purpoise) and yet, not quite as fun as those. I begrudingly sent the shit out, only to find a $40 parking ticket J-U-S-T slapped on my windshield outside, fo rthe luvva pete. Ironically, I turned down a bid for a Sega CD Model One on ebay earlier this week for the same amount of money (for obvious reasons) - later last night I folded my pants to put away on the shelf, and the other time which iw as too stingy to feed the meter earlier fell out.

I hate you, world.

So, so so so, working on an art test for a game job. A good job, dunno if I am at all in the running, but regardless I should try. My efforts have been hampered by crashy shitty software, which seems to have laid off on irritating me a but finally, so I plod on. Meanwhile, I take a break to eat reheated Barbeque Wings and Ice Cream, and surf the net - as is my wont - and read all manner of random things. And I happen upon some articles about traveling, and seeing weird different strange things in other countries, and my memories whisk back to when I had a glimpse of such things. In my 32 years almost, and I notice that I live in a place and time where travel (or relocation) is not such a huge pain in the ass (well.. as it COULD be). But for a number of reasons, it's just never been a huge important thing in my life. Ironically, then, that I always intend to alter my lifestyle and get a more "worldly" view of things, as opposed to limiting myself to the culture and circumstances from which I've originated..

and yet.. yeah, I'm a pussy. Well, I'm programmed, and I've done well to follow through (nearly to a Tee, in some ways) in keeping up my end of that bargain. Sure, I have moved away from my family and all the things of my adolescence, but to what? There's plenty of Blockbuster Videos, Staples and Wal-Marts and Applebee's on this side of the coast as there are in New England. (yes, it is THIS rant again). Same TV shows, same movies, same school curriculum, religions, Time Magazines, etc etc. You can buy the same brands of cars, dishwasher detergents. I guess we have our own unique newscasters in different areas and television call-letters. So yeah, I am not getting any ya-ya-younger, and I look down the road at what's to come and it's feeling a little bleah, at times. I mean, it would be one thing if the world at large was boring and stupid, but it's rich and full and, well, exploding with interesting things! The tiny bit of traveling I have done was enough to open my eyes to that fact.

Problems - again, I am from a heavily conservative background, in spite of everyone telling me I am nuts, and all my crazy partying or whatever. Picking it all up and moving to California is certainly nothing to balk at (nearly 7 years later, mind you!) but it's pretty "safe," and though the local culture has certainly influenced and changed me, it feels a bit worn by now. The point I was making - my conservatism, plus the fact that I am a workaholic (yeah, again for good reason - in my field it's fucking tough to get or keep a good job!) and with that, when I work it feels like my ultimate goal is to eventually build UP, save up, buy a house, the American Dream of Domestication and all of that. Why change it up when you can settle down, eh? And moreover, something i have bitched about in this forum time and again, we live in this crazy-overboard consumer culture. Materialistic. Get money, buy things, things you need, things that end up owning you. Yeah, so, I have a car, TV, bed, nice apartment, all of those hard-won things make it hard to want to jettison my worldy belongings inexchange for searching for the greater truth. The more you accumulate, the more you need to accumulate. Did I mention an ebay auction earlier in here?

A little more to complain - continuing on with the thought above - we are a society which has got a HUGE focus on leisure. All that stuff we buy, we use it to lock down into our homes, safe and sound, to experience the world safely thru a glass tube (or, lately, Plasma or LCD screen). Broadcast and transmitted and edited and sanitized for mass consumption. Just raunchy enough to keep it interesting, but bite-sized enough not to tense our increasing Collective Attention Deficit Disorder. Clean, concise, content. Congratulations.

You know, I had some hope to see some weirdness during my cross country trip back to Los Angeles, and I did see a bit of a cross section, but mostly what I saw was.. nothing. Mesas, man, mesas. IHOPs and Arby's. No, I am not dissing Arby's - but even during the odd chances that I do return home to boston, I see a lot of the familiar mom-n-pop places I remembered from growing up, steamrolled and replaced with generic corporate-owned updates. Nah, I can't diss the corporations, much as it's trendy to - I am looking for my piece 'o the pie as much as the next guy.

So, yeah, what now. Usual whining, i have got it out of my system. I can return to doing my art test and hope it will help me find my hole to comfortably return to, a perfect fit, just another cog in the huge machine. Making money for some rich guys who don't even know me (or need to), vying for my own chance to be a somewhat rich guy as well, so that I can amass some wealth and trivialize further the fact that I'm just another boring useless shithead with a webpage who will die someday without ever having experienced even a fraction of the great grandness of it all even though he got a whiff of the fact that it was oozing out from every corner. Maybe I will still send my shit out to Shanghai.. just to see...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

cadillac smoothie

right so it's another late-late-late-night. lots of those in my life, but then, that's what they're there for, isn't that right mascara snake? Fast and Bulbous? Tight also? Right, right. And anyway, I have been working in crunch time pretty steadily, with the odd break here or there to go party (it's been awhile already.. feels like it!) or shmooze (that's a different story). All in all, it definitely doesn't really feel like a couple weeks before the end of the year. Fine, I am happy to kick 2006 to the curb, then. Whatever. So, who's got the plans for New Year's Eve then?

Here's a note, I had a little get-together at my place last New Year's, (well, I think it was actually xmas, if you want to be... TECHNICAL) though it already feels like several years ago - anyway, I guess if nothng else happens I'll follow suit and do the same thing, it'll be more of a BYOB though. I can't quite shell out the bucks this time around (though I'll probably spring for a half-keg). Anybody into it? Get drunk and play videogames and Celebrity?

or maybe I am gettin' old and will be happy to crank the lights down low, put some soft tunes on the stereo, and gently and warmly let the night pass by, if all else fails. it IS peacefully quiet here.

Okay now i remember. Last new year's (after the xmas gathering at my pad.. jewish xmas.. whatever) I was rolling around, literally, on the streets of SF. It was rainy and freezing. There were lots of drunk people and angry women arguing and fighting on the subway. That was awhile ago.

Oh so it's late. I have a lot of work to do, and so this jaggedly haphazard entry is gonna go to the birds. Bye birds.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

revenge fantasies

i am sitting here at my desk, making several sides of buildings for whatever reason (oh alright it's a bit of work) and listening to one of the cooler things on internet-radio, though admittedly a little light in the loafers, but still - This American Life hosted by Ira Glass (plug, plug) and I was struck by some of the current conversation. We've all had them, but - what if someone else had a revenge fantasy for YOU? I have never considered this scenario before. We all have that guy who's ass we would looOooove to kick, "oh, if i could only push him off of a rooftop," etc. etc. But what if you are the particular culprit in someone else's life? What if in their head, they've gone over and over again the many fascinating, macabre, gruesomely horrifically detailed ways they'd love to see you suffer (slowly, painfully) and perish while your stupid chums looked on helplessly as they waited to get theirs next?

Okay, I like to paint a pretty picture, I am an artiste by trade. I can't help it. Anyway I am sure that more than a few of us have been an unwitting mental target before, for whatever reason - mind you, it's often probably the case that we are absolutely oblivious to the fact. What if you've cut someone off in traffic, blind to the day while you're yakkin' away on your cellphone, and you've just crossed the path of someone who's needing to get a very good mad on right at that moment in particular. Maybe they follow you for a couple of miles, memorizing the outline of your trunk and imagining smashing the shit out of it while the two of you explode in a gigantically enormous fireball. I could go on.. but I won't... 'cause this is starting to get creepy.

Busy week, my busiest in some time actually (and that is saying something). I have work to do and an art test for a local studio which I've not even begun yet (due in a couple days, yet). Applied for a couple more jobs here, and there... I even sent an application to NYC, a job's opened up there. No idea what my odds are of that happening, but might as well give 'er a shot.

Meanwhile, I am starving and it's cheap-ass taco night at Del Taco. I count down the hours.

Back to work.

Monday, December 11, 2006

you just make a FOOL out of me

"ron, call me.. call me.. NOW.. I PROMISE I will get you a job, whever you want to work" --> promises, promises. What if I don't want to work anywhere? Better yet, what if I want YOUR job? Nah, I definitely don't want that. How much do vultures get paid to circle carrion anyway? Okay sorry, I am a litle bitter for being awoken from my nearly peaceful slumber. Nearly. Actually I was waking up in a Vegas hotel room with my buddies when the phone rang and the recruiter woke me up and I was back in my stupid Normal Bedroom.

Another weekend has passed. I'm trying to maintain the mental difference between weekdays and weekends, which is a little harder now as my girlfriend is on winter break (that shit happens fast?? I don't recall that being the case when I was a young gun) and now everyday is saturday. As I've complained to about 54 of my friends, I have been meaddeningly turning my apartment upside-down looking for the wretched evil Service Agreement for my fallen Ipod. It's got to be here somewhere! I like to think that I was a little more organizixed than this. Also I have been trying to rebuild my texture library, compiled of years of unevenly numbered shots, on my external HD - not for shits and giggles mind you but 'cause that's the tools of my trade. I seem to have got mostly thru that. On top of that I have been applying to jobs here and there and actualy getting into some talks with a couple diffferent companies about taking that next step. No, no hires yet, but it's getting closer.

I have to say now is where I mention that I am "tired of working..." Which is pretty true. I feel sufficiently burned out. I don't wanna make video games anymore, paint textures anymore, collapse the goddamned Edit Meshes anymore. Send, test, revise, meet, complain, "you can't do that with these restrictions," try again, wash, rinse, repeat. The dream is over! You know what's worse than contemplating getting another job in games or graphics, is getting another job doing anything else. Seriously,the dumb young full of love recruiter calls me up and says "I can get you a job at ANY STUDIO YOU LIKE" dude I don't wanna work anywhere. I think it's my emboldened love of all the miserably loveable losers in history catching up with me. The drug addicts, the hitch hikers, the needless useless drunks, the petty criminals. I wanna ditch everything and be on the lam. At least when that runs out of gas then you are at Game Over, ironically.

Alright so don't worry, the ringing phone interrupted my somber vegas dreaming and charged my batteries up a bit, perhaps a little much. I am actually slipping into "the good work mode" and my environment is in decent shape. Well it's alittle torn up and thrashed but I can tune it out alright. And I guess my right ear feels packed with wax and that's annoying and I have some mysterious gash on my right inner heel but it's only sort of itchy. And my endless toothache seems to have subsided. And I saw a cool concert for free (well, as free as you can get anyway) the other night which was fun.

Ok also I seem to have lost my cellphone (so if you know me, don't bother trying to call me on it). I am not sure how this happened. I have a couple of bars to call and see if they know what's up. (If anyone gets the irony in that almost-joke, then yes, you are cool). I'm a little split on how I feel about this - if I were to HAVE to lose something, voluntarily, a cellphone would be the tops on my list. It's a nice little accoutrement, but it's also one of the Seven Signs of the Devil which can assuredly lead me to nothing but endless unhappiness and terminal ruin, which I am sure of. These days it's kind of a nice thing to have. I guess someday in fifteen years they'll start grafting them into our cortexes anyway, whether we like it or not, so perhaps I should appreciate it while I still have my semi-freedom.

I have tons of pictures to put up from the previous weeks of traveling and debauchery and all of that, but too busy dealing with actual work that needs to be done. I feel guilty even taking 15 minutes to write about this bullshit. But I gotta expend some of the energy somehow before shuttling right back into it.. right..

BTW two week till xmess, to the DAY, huh? That is a little wild? Good, bring it on and get out of 2006 already so we can get further flung into the future and I can have my monogrammed Jumpsuit and Bubble car which turns into a (very very heavy) briefcase. Alright, I need to take shower.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

if it pleases the court

people, whoever reads this, promise me this - if and when i die, which hopefully won't be shortly, please do NOT turn my myspace page into a memorial. i am fascniated by the pages which have become memorials to dead 20-somethings, it's interesting to read the gibberish comments people left on their departed friends' pages and then suddenly all the notes become macabre and sorrowful, at best. "we miss you here at Starbucks!" Oh please... Anyway, if on the other hand people want to use my myspace page as a way to continue to poke fun at me and degrade/humiliate my character in the afterlife, then so be it. Go on, who's going to stop you, aside from the intangible barriers of Taste. Sticks and Stones can't hurt me from beyond the gates of Oblivion, but even I have to have a chuckle at the thought that my removed presence is still obnoxious to someone, somewhere.. eternally..

I guess I will have to start writing Advance Blog Entries (A.B.E.'s) for someone to post in the future after I am gone, much like wen a poshumous author's work is published. The only difference being that there's an audience for the dead author, but you know. I will have to think beforehand about what I will complain about in the Afterlife and commit it to keyboard, so that people can still read about the trivial bullshit Ron is whining about from a supposed Other Plane of Existence.

Anyway, enough of that. Once in awhile it's fun to toy with the idea of pondering one's own mortality and imminent doom, but not too wonderful to get carried away with it. Meanwhile, I am facing some new bizarre considerations, and the question I have is this - if everyone you know tells you that you're crazy, then does that mean, indeed, that you ARE CRAZY? For years I have had to weather such accusations from my friends and loved ones, to whatever, degree, but it was always sort of lain on me in jest. though the past couple of years, it's been coming at me more... uh.. substantially. So what if I am crazy.. what then? Do I get a card for my wallet, perhaps a bracelet? A tax break? Should I just turn over all my belongings and check, indefinitely, into the nearest mental institution?

Or should I just start acting crazy "for real?" Walking around half-dressed in the streets. Throwing things at cops, trying to drink gasoline straight out of the pump. Screaming at strangers in public places and try to relieve myself at the entrances of libraries, you know, that sort of thing. Okay, well, short of being a little abrasive here and there, I do have the switch in my head which says "do not irritate society and piss people off FOR REAL," likewise don't do things that are utterly irrational for the sake of irrationality and completely disregard any such consequences. So my wy fo going abotu things, and the levels of my interactions with certain people in the world might be measured as a little bit unusual here and there, but I maintain that I am by no means honestly crazy. Perhaps, it's more the case the case that nearly everyone else around me is just so fucking boring.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

the sin is corrupting

you know, i had planned to keep more of an active "travel diary" during the time I was on the road, but that just didn't seem to happen -- after all -- I was on the road! And since my return home, lack of time coupled with a lack of enthusiasm has likewise crippled my efforts to put anything into this journal. But, in the spirit of putting some notes down before my memory starts to wither, I have taken it upon myself to.. uhhh... bleh bleh blah.

Anyway, here's the bargain-basement recap, so much as I am capable of:

Sunday Nov 26, @6pm - my friend picked me up in Framingham, Massachusettes (just outside of Boston) and we hit the road. About 4 hours and change later, we arrived in Astoria, NYC. We hit a bar to catch up with some friends and ogle the cute, nerdy waitress.

Monday, Nov 27 - We hit the road at about noon. Drove all day, we split the driving roughly 50/50. I got nailed with a shitty speeding ticket (i've not got one in 6 years) which will probably cost me in excess of $200. I will make the phone call to figure that out AFTER I write this, my mood is perturbed enough as it is. Arrived in Chicago shortly before 2am, to find that all the hotels in town were booked as a radiology convention was going on. We stopped into a Greek Tavern to have a couple of drinks (Sam Adams was usually my beer of choice during this adventure, my accomplice stuck to the Bud Light - for those keeping score). At this tavern, I learned that it is not looked well upon to pick up the errant $1 bills strewn across the bar floor. Whoops... Anyway, we checked into a Marriott by the airport and got some shuteye.

Tuesday November 28 - We spent the entire day in Chicago, a city I have long wanted to see. Snapped a lot of pictures, wandering around, chilling at a couple of bars, downed a corned beef sandwich. Nothing too special during the day, as we'd not really planned out our trip too thoroughly and so weren't quite sure of what to see or where to go. just the same, after the previous day's heavy driving, it was nice to plunk down in the middle of the city, sit on our asses and down a couple beers while shooting the breeze. That night was a whole different story - we found a (much cheaper) hotel outside of the city limits, and caught the Metra rail back into the city to get some Chicago Pizza, and then meet my friend Mike (Tough Love.. or, Evil Fat) who was duty-bound to show us some of the night scene in the city. He picked us up after dinner and drove us to a couple of places. The first two were pretty mellow, but as the evening picked up we got into some happening joints. Nothing too special, but just what I was hoping for on a Tuesday night. One thing that I noticed, was that people just seemed really cool, really NICE in this town. Not like LA or Boston, where people are dripping (quite often) with the negative attitude, to the tune of "get outta my way and leave me the hell alone." Ironically, I did meet some chick who was not the friendliest sort around, but it wasn't enough to dampen my spirits - I definitely liked that bar a lot. After this place we hit another one, looked kind of like a Harley Bar or something - and right as we approached it we saw some big bruiser guy had just met the pavement in front with his forehead, and there was a nice little line of blood dripping down the asphalt. Mike and I kind of gawked, while my other friend rushed to his aid (he found a pulse!) An.. interesting introduction to a bar, to be sure, apparently this guy and some other guy inside were stepping outside to brawl, and I guess this guy tripped and knocked himself clean out. Regardless, we classily literally STEPPED OVER HIS UNCONCIOUS BODY and entered the joint. Inside was considerably much mellower than the scene outside, likewise much more so than the last bar we'd left. This was kind of like the "come-down" bar, after which we headed home and decided to call it a night.

Wednesday November 29 - Check out at noon, it's pouring rain (the previous day was a little cool, but still very nice weather). We hit the road bound for Wyoming, but the weather worsened and some poor navigation (not our fault) hindered our approach somewhat. We spent some extra hours frozen in standstill traffic amongst an army of behemoth trucks, there must have been some huge railyard nearby or something. Anyway, as the night (and shitty weather) wore on, we approached Des Moines, Iowa and stopped to get a bite to eat. About 9pm, around the financial district - a couple bars, restaurants, but it was a GHOST TOWN, there wasn't anything going on anywhere. It was cold as hell (<20 degree I believe?) so we rushed into some random restaurant, got some grub, and continued to plot our progress. Earlier on we decided to skip Wyoming altogether, as we'd originally intended to make it to tempe, Arizona by Thursday night. This was about 24 hours away, and we had a good 1500 miles or so to travel, yet!! At this point, we'd decided to just bite the bullet and keep plowing straight on through until we got to Tempe - which would likely take us a full 24 hours of nonstop driving, anyway. So, what the hell. He'd been driving all day, and now after dinner I took the wheel as he passed out for a few hours. I drove as long as I could (made it nearly clear through Nebraska) before my concentration started to stutter, so I handed the wheel to my buddy and caught some Z's myself, I think about 3:30am into the new Thursday.

Thursday November 30 - Driver woke me up @6:30 as he'd pulled into an IHOP in Denver, Colorado. I dragged myself sluggishly out of the car (freezing, and snow everywhere - I hadn't seen that in awhile!) for some much appreciated breakfast. Paid the bill, hit the road, and poor Chris got to manage with the morning city traffic as I slowly drifted back to sleep. I guess it was about 1 in the afternoon when I woke up, we had just passed into New Mexico (yup, Chris negotiated the entire state of Colorado all by himself) and pulled into Denny's to recharge. We ate, then hit the road once more - and it was my turn to drive. I got us completely through New Mexico, and then all the way through to that evening's destination, Tempe, Arizona (just beside Phoenix). I believe we got there at about 11:30 in the evening, and we parked our car and dropped our gear off at my buddy Aaron C's apartment. He and I used to work together a few years ago, he's since relocated and got a job with a studio in this particular town. We hopped in the shower, and though exhausted from the long TWO FULL DAYS OF DRIVING we headed out to check out the Tempe scene. Late at night, yah, but still here it was and here we were, with only a night to see what's up. We dutifully pounded a couple of drinks after a magically mind-reading cabbie showed up to give us a ride into town (it's amazing when that works out!), we were in a regular frat-type bar with some heavy-metal impersonators on stage playing some LOUD GODDAMN MUSIC which fortunately subsided not too long after we hit that scene. Likewise, 2am came and the place dispersed without much craziness to ensue... or so, we thought. As the place emptied into the street, we mingled with the crowd a bit (I picked up some random guy's girlfriend, I mean LITERALLY picked her up, of course he wasn't too psyched with this and showed up to collect her rather quickly.. she didn't seem to mind, either way!!) A bit drunk and beat, my friends and I headed to Jack in the Box to get some grub so as to soak up the night's booze. Little did we know what would meet us within...

So, Arizona has always struck me, generally, as a rather desolate area. I mean, it's desert, right? A cattle skull here, a tumbleweed there. Maybe a reservation or two, who knows. Anyway, the pics I've seen of it just usually show rustic looking Adobe-type houses, and I picture lots of old men with handlebar mustaches, big golden belts, and cowboy hats passing through Trading Posts and the like. As for the city, I expected it to be pretty new and streamlined, lots of construction underway, which is pretty much how it shaped up. And the frat bar likewise fulfilled my expectation of kind of apreppy, vanilla atmosphere. But man, when we stepped into the Jack in the Box, things suddenly became very unexpected. We found some dude slumped in a booth alternating between madly-passionately making out with his girlfriend and passing out in his chair, limply.. His friends were tryingto get him to board a cab and get the hell outta there with them, despite his extremely drunken objections. Again, Chris rose to the occasion (as I tried to tune it out) and helped the guy. I was trying to defuse a possibly dangerous situation between my other friend and some folks in the restaurant who were looking for trouble (my buddy was happy and hungry, and I think we were all a little bit oblivious about how dark it was going to get in there). I got everybody to wait outside and keep an eye out for our cab as I waited to order (also difficult, as the dudes behind the counter were having their own drama and running back and forth between their work area and outside to angrily yell at whoever on the phone). In the meantime, some bizarre wispy business-suit-clad gentleman sidles up to me and tells me in a sort of sing-songy voice, " i LooOOOooooOOve heroin!" Asking me if I have any drugs I could hook him up with. Drugless, I deny him and try to get him to leave me alone (politely, since I can tell he's.. uhm.. in an altered state of conciousness) And so he starts in nagging the fella next to me, "you got any coke? got any heroin?" The dude is jonesing, and the kid he is bothering is not happy about it. They go back and forth, each of them becoming increasingly irate and rude with one another, to the point where I decide to ditch my idea and wait outside with my buddies rather than get any further ensconced with this bullshit. I meet my friends, who tell me the cab is enroute.. the heroin-needing business man follows me out and starts asking my friends for coke as well. They are not too psyched about this and start giving him a tough time, and he follows suit (pun?!) and manages to get a move on and leave us alone. SOMEHOW I got back in, got a few burgers, and we caught or cab and made it to Aaron's place, in one piece. natch. Ironically, today was my girlfriend's 25th birthday..!

Friday December 1 - Another day, we wake up, shower, get some lunch at the slowwwwest eating establishment I have seen in some time. Food wasn't much to speak of either, but at that point anything they'd served would have made me overjoyed as we were all pretty hungry, and emotionally taxed from the night before. We ate, bid our friend farewell, and hit the road one last time for the final leg of the journey. We left AZ a little past 3 in the afternoon, and I drove straight through to my apartment in Hollywood, California. It took almost 6 hours, and mannn was I happy to get home! We hit the shower again, then walked up the street to Birds to get a couple of drinks and have some dinner. I wasn't too psyched to go there, not that it is a bad place - but the food usually disappoints. I mention this because I decided to order the ribs and they were FUCK KING GOOD. I have found a new amazing rib joint and it's 5 minutes to walk from where my bed is at. Happy! Anyway, we got picked up by our friend Edwin to welcome us home, and went to some little scenestery party in echo park. I wasn't too psyched to do this either, and honestly from when we walked in through the first hour or so, I was really totally being a pill. I didn't wanna be at this shitty place! But as I got afew drinks in me, I lightened up a bit and ended up having a really good time after all, meeting some cool people, and the strange bartender chick, who loved me and hated me at the same time. or something. Some cops made fun of us as we ended the night "you'll never get a cab here!" right as one immediately pulled up and took us away (haha! bitches!!) safe and sound to my home sweet home.

Saturday December 2 - okay I guess i can start stopping with the timestamping now eh? But still appropriate, as the experience was not yet over. Today I took Chris out to Santa Monica, a popular travel spot, to check out the 3rd Street Promenade, the pier (from a distance) and of course the beach, with a very nice sunset. A nice night to end the craziness we'd been entrenched in, sort of - calmand peaceful, anyway. Also we chanced to end up in a very wonderful italian resturant on the Promenade when the Beanery denied us a place to sit and eat, and we had some of the best pizza I've ever had in my LIFE. Trastevere, I think it was called. We headed back to my place after a full day, again hit the showers/etc and headed out to the LAX nightclub (in hollywood, NOT at the airport) for some overpriced drinks and irritating crowd. Actually the night was quite fun, we snuck some booze in and only drank sparingly. The music was cheesy, but fun to dance to (all that matters, right?) and we got out of there and walked home at the end of the night, with a little of the usual destruction taking place (i think i destroyed some ballons and we threw some Adult Ad pamphlets around), likewise annoyed some late-nighter's in the local cafe. Then home to play SF2 till we passed out.

Sunday we got shabu for lunch with edwin, then parted company with him and I gave chris the Tour (de force) of LA. We were just driving around town and I was showing him the sights, the spectacle.. the sunset strip, Roxy, Viper room.. crazy rock-side houses up in the nosebleed Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, Hollywood proper (walk of fame, Mann's Theater), and of course Downtown LA to see the wanton decrepitness (if it's a word.. I am not sure). We planned to go out for one more night, buut exhaustion crept in and he crashed on the couch after the day of driving. I was gonna yank him up to go out anyway, but hey - the guy had a ful day(s) of driving back to the East Coast by himself ahead of him, and to give him some credit he'd been quite good at hanging with my steady-nonstop lifestyle - but yeah, we all need a damned rest for a night here or there! To be fair, I passed out on my carpet for a few hours here and there. We were both pretty beat... And so, the next day (Monday) we got some lunch real quick, oil change for his ride, and then off into the sunset he went. And still on the road, somewhere, he is now. And as for me? I have work to so.

And that's that.